Media Release


Warning on Toddler Driveway Deaths



Parents urged to walk around the car

Dr Mark Stokes, President of Kidsafe Victoria said parents need to recognise that driveways are one of the most deadliest areas around the home. The warning comes following the death of a toddler yesterday in Melbourne.

 "On average, one child is killed on a driveway every month in Australia. Tragically these deaths usually involve a parent or friend of the family."

There are some simple precautions which can be taken to avoid driveway tragedies:

* Always supervise your children whenever a car is being moved - hold their hands or keep them close;
* If you are the only adult at home, safely restrain children in the vehicle while you move it;
* Discourage children from using the driveway as a play area and make access to the driveway from the house difficult for a child by using doors, gates and fences with childproof locks.
* Install a reversing camera or sensor to assist with detection of children or objects behind the car

Most importantly, be aware of where your children are and who is supervising them.

"Most of the driveway cases involved young toddlers who have positioned themselves close by a stationary vehicle. These children were old enough to be mobile, but too small to be easily visible from the driving position when close to the vehicle."

Dr Stokes said that research has shown most of the accidents occurred at or near the child's home, where both the parent and the child may have felt that the child was safe.

"Importantly, in almost all driveway run-over incidents, there was no clear separation between the driveway and the rest of the yard or play area," he said.

Kidsafe believes it should be compulsory for all new vehicles to have reversing sensors, and a campaign on driveway dangers should be targeted at all new parents and families with small children.

Media Enquiries:
Ron Smith, Corporate Media Communications, Kidsafe Victora - Mobile: 0417 329 201